SIO62: Trans and in the Military with Sarah

Today I’m joined by not-her-real-name-Sarah, who is trans and is currently serving in the military. She is in danger of losing her job, given Trump’s recent tweets. She discusses a bit of the policy history and helps put these monstrous ideas into perspective.

After that, I do some commentary on some things including the fact that, yes, I’m outraged. Things are outrageous currently. But, if you’re really worried about the “whole transgender thing” being a distraction, make sure you’re still doing everything you can to stop Trumpcare here.

Leave Thomas a voicemail! (916) 750-4746, remember short and to the point!

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5 Replies to “SIO62: Trans and in the Military with Sarah”

  1. Trump LOVES being outrageous. That’s the whole point. By being outraged you are responding to him exactly as he intended and he loves it. Us being outraged makes Trump smile. Trump is all about sticking his finger in the eye of people he considers losers, so our outrage is an indicator of his success; he got the attention he was craving.

    I suggest becoming Trump deniers: “Donald who? The guy with the red afro at the burger joint? No? The duck in the sailor suit and no pants? Not him either? The tap dancer from the ’30s and ’40s? Not the guy who was Barney on the Andy Griffith show? I guess I don’t know who you mean.”

    Use his Narcissistic Personality Disorder against him.

    Embrace the Void, y’all!

    1. As much as I love the idea of a universal denial of Trump’s existence (genuinely, if I had access to a genie…), I think it’s important to remember that giving Trump what he wants (as gross as that makes me feel typing it) is perhaps a necessary side-effect of mobilizing and maintaining resistance.

      I’ve been having a similar discussion recently. I’ve had to force myself to recognize that as much as it seems like the Republicans are doomed to catch themselves in their own legislative zippers, their continued failure to pass legislation is partially the result of powerful and continuous pushback from activists and constituents who step into the streets, make phone-calls, and sit in their representatives’ offices and hallways, because they know that things are fucking outrageous.

      I agree that some (small) part of Trump can only twitch to life if he’s tweeted something disgusting or monstrous in the last few minutes, but I’m also sure there’s some relevant parable about a village that solves their dragon problem by feeding that fucker gold until it can’t leave its damn cave.

      1. The “part of Trump [that] can only twitch to life if he’s tweeted something disgusting or monstrous in the last few minutes” is not “small;” it’s the bulk of his personality. That’s who he is; that’s what he’s all about. Think toddler with the family at the round table in the corner of Applebee’s who SHRIEKS at the top of their lungs every time the family’s attention wanders from them for a moment. While I think this “coked up toddler with Turrets” behavior comes naturally to Trump, I’m still not sure if it’s evil genius—as Scott Adams would suggest—or just severe emotional immaturity. There are those who think he’s being coached on this behavior by the Kremlin because it is so effective at keeping the press and populace in turmoil and unfocused on what’s really going on. Regardless of where it’s coming from, when we react with outrage to every blithering tweet that proceedeth from the Thumbs of Trump, we are contributing to precisely the desired effect.

        I agree with you that we, the ones who are not vicariously riding high on Trump’s “Fuck everybody but me!” persona, need to be working constantly to keep pressure on legislators to remind them that there’s still a majority (however slight) out there who will not reward their continued worship of and deferral to Trump with reelection. But we need to aim whatever outrage we can muster at the legislature and quit reacting to Trump all the time. The legislature are the only ones who can make any lasting difference. Legislatures don’t like serving the people who elect them. They like pandering to special interests and getting their faces on TV. We need to keep reminding them that they pander at our pleasure and discretion.

        We’ve elevated our shrieking toddler to the head of household, but we need to start dethroning him little by little by ignoring him little by little and getting things done by ordinary legislative means. Rant at your lawmakers. Forget about Trump.

  2. I just want to add a comment in support of Oscar’s e-mail. This wasn’t something that I’ve given much thought, but I think he raised some compelling points.

    Regardless of whether common usage is making the term “triggered” more likely to be used in reference to “overreacting to a non-issue (likely from the internet),” the key point I took away from the e-mail is that the internet-people adopting the term has made it more difficult for people who rely on its more clinical meaning to ask for help, and to feel confident they won’t be ridiculed or dismissed for doing so. I think this is especially important, given what we know about how social invalidation can compound and exacerbate responses to trauma.

    I get that there are metaphysical, rhetorical, and etymological discussions about how words connect to their various and contextual meanings. More still, I get that, as you suggested, when you turn “triggered” around on the broflakes, there’s an implicit sarcasm that informs the intended meaning, so that, ideally, you’re not just mocking them for acting hypocritically when they become self-righteously outraged in response to a non-issue, but you’re also commenting on their misunderstanding and misuse of the term. Further still, I get that using the term “triggered” in response to anti-PC anger is an efficient way to make that complex critique in a manner that both resonates and is less easily dismissed.

    However, I stress the word “ideally” in that last paragraph, because as Oscar suggested, it’s easy to unwittingly endorse their usage of the term while critiquing their hypocrisy, assuming the implicit irony has been established. I understand that there are arguments to be made about who it is that bears responsibility for communicating and/or inferring that irony in a given exchange, but I also think those conversations exist apart from asking whether the de facto, experiential result of our word-choice has a harmful effect on others.

    As valid and important as it is to push back against dumbass broflakes, if you’re doing it in a way that makes it harder for the people whom the broflakes are, themselves, victimizing, then that’s a good reason to step back and ask whether there’s a better way to do that advocacy work. I’m assuming your motivation for critiquing the broflakes is based in advocacy for the people they victimize.

    Personally, I take Oscar’s criticism, and I intend to be more mindful and pointed in my criticism of internet assholes in the future.

    1. Hey Thomas, Oscar from the voicemail here. I wasn’t sure if I sent that email, and though it sounds like me and my opinion AND my name, it’s not in any of my emails sent folders… So unless I’ve forgotten an email account, it must be another Oscar.

      My thoughts; I am a huge believer in relative definitions – if a word shifts in its primary meaning, we have to go along with it.
      But then there’s the issue that all movements face, where this ‘memetic drift’ occurs and, for example, gamer gate went from outrage at gaming journalists to the harassment of women.

      I’m really not sure if that email was me or not, it’s kind of become a shrodingers cat in my mind. – I believe both that I sent it, and I didn’t. (My mind is prone to wandering away from reality, I’ve learned to manage by dealing in uncertainty)

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